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Popper, Arthur N., et. al., 2006
The Effects of High Intensity, Low Frequency Active Sonar on Rainbow Trout. 

This study investigated the effects on rainbow trout Oncorhynchus mykiss of exposure to high-intensity, low-frequency sonar using an element of the standard Surveillance Towed Array Sensor System Low Frequency Active LFA sonar source array. Effects of the LFA sonar on hearing were tested using auditory brainstem responses. Effects were also examined on inner ear morphology using scanning electron microscopy and on nonauditory tissues using general pathology and histopathology.

Banner, Hyatt. 1973
Effects of Noise on Eggs and Larvae of Two Estuarine Fishes. 

Growth rates of C. variegatus and Fundulus similis larvae were significantly greater in the quieter tank under both 8L:16D and 16L photoperiods. Fishes experiencing the longer photoperiod were somewhat shorter, but significantly heavier than those under the shorter photoperiod for the respective noise conditions.

Blaxter, Batty. 1985

The Development of Startle Responses in Herring Larvae.

The present paper describes experiments on the effect of sound on the startle responses of individual larvae from the four groups given above. It also describes startle-response behaviour in a population of larvae with a view to determining thresholds, latency and directional responses. A comparison between larvae and juvenile herring is also made. Finally it demonstrates that startle behaviour is also present in much younger larvae soon after hatching, but at this stage the responses are only made following tactile stimulation or contact with predators.


Engas, et al. 1996

Effects of seismic shooting on local abundance and catch rates of cod. 

To determine whether seismic exploration affected abundance or catch rates of cod (Gadus morhua) and haddock (Melanogrammus aeglefinus), acoustic mapping and fishing trials with trawls and longlines were conducted in the central Barents Sea 7 days before, 5 days during, and 5 days after seismic shooting with air guns. Seismic shooting severely affected fish distribution, local abundance, and catch rates in the entire investigation area.  Longline catches of cod were reduced by 21%. Reductions in catch rates were observed 18 nautical miles from the seismic shooting area (3 × 10 nautical miles), but the most pronounced reduction occurred within the shooting area, where trawl catches of both species and longline catches of haddock were reduced by about 70% and the longline catches of cod by 45%. Abundance and catch rates did not return to preshooting levels during the 5-day period after seismic shooting ended.

Silve, et al. 2012

Migrating Herring and Sonar. 

Impact of naval sonar signals on Atlantic herring (Clupea harengus) during summer feeding Naval anti-submarine sonars produce intense sounds within the hearing range of Atlantic herring (Clupea harengus). This study documents that adult Atlantic herring did not show any behavioural response to 1–7 kHz naval sonar signals at received SPL up to 176 dB re 1 mPa and SEL up to 181 dB re 1 mPa2 s during summer feeding migration

Knudsen et al. 1991

Awareness reactions and avoidance responses to sound in juvenile Atlantic salmon.

The possibility of using intense sound as a deterrent for juvenile Atlantic salmon (Salmo salar L.) was studied by recording both physiological awareness reactions in an acoustic tube and behavioural avoidance responses in a pool. The measured awareness reactions consisted of decreased heart rate and breathing movements. Juvenile salmon showed avoidance responses to 10 Hz stimulation at intensities above the threshold for spontaneous awareness reactions measured in the acoustic tube.

McCauley, et al. 2000

Marine Seismic Surveys: Analysis and Propagation of Air-gun Signals; and effect of Air-Gun Exposure on Humpback Whales, Sea Turtles, Fishes, and Squid.  Captive fish exposed to short range air-gun signals were seen to have some damaged hearing structures, but showed no evidence of increased stress. Captive squid showed a strong startle responses to nearby air-gun start up and evidence that they would significantly alter their behaviour at an estimated 2-5 km from an approaching large seismic source.  Mega fauna took avoidance measures. many fin-fishes displayed their general 'alarm' response of increased swimming speed, tightening schools and moving towards the sea floor.

McCauley, et al. 2003

High intensity anthropogenic sound damages fish ears

Marine petroleum exploration involves the repetitive use of high-energy noise sources, air-guns, that produce a short, sharp, low-frequency sound. Despite reports of behavioral responses of fishes and marine mammals to such noise, it is not known whether exposure to air-guns has the potential to damage the ears of aquatic vertebrates. It is shown here that the ears of fish exposed to an operating air-gun sustained extensive damage to their sensory epithelia that was apparent as ablated hair cells. The damage was regionally severe, with no evidence of repair or replacement of damaged sensory cells up to 58 days after air-gun exposure.

Popper, Arthur N. 2003

Effects of Anthropogenic Sounds on Fishes.

We need to be concerned about the effect on fish of sounds in aquaria and in other facilities where fish have long-term exposure to sounds that are significantly above the normal ambient acoustic environment in which they evolved. If nothing else, it will be important to ask the right questions to determine if the effects are present and important or if they have little or no long-term consequence to the animal. Moreover, we might consider the effects of long-term acoustic tagging on fishes that can detect the ultrasonic sounds of the tags.

Scholik, Yan. 2001

Effects of boat engine noise on the auditory sensitivity of the fathead minnow, Pimephales promelas. 

Such a short duration of noise exposure leads to significant changes in hearing capability and implies that man-made noise generated from boat engines can have far reaching environmental impacts on fishes.  A major source or noise for fishes comes from vessels and boats as a result of their vast distribution, sheer numbers, and mobility.

Seismic Airguns and Fisheries

Airguns have also been shown to substantially reduce catch rates of rockfish. Other impacts on commercially harvested fish include reduced reproductive performance and hearing loss.

Sierra-Flores, et al. 2015

Cod and Noise-induced Stress

The potential effects of anthropogenic noise on the physiology of Atlantic cod have not been well described. Results showed that artificial noise consisting of a linear sweep from 100 to 1000 Hz can induce a transient and mild cortisol elevation with a clear noise intensity dose response. These results confirm that cod can perceive noise generated within a frequency range of 100–1000 Hz and display a heightened cortisol plasma level. In addition, anthropogenic noise can have negative impacts on cod spawning performances.

Skulski, et al. 1992

Effects of Sounds from the Geophysical Survey Device on Catch-per-Unit-Effort in a Hook-and-Line Fishery for Rockfish. 

The available evidence suggests that the reduced catchability derived from behavioral changes.  Results of the behavioral experiment suggest changes in swimming behavior of rockfish from directed movement to milling or undirected movement at sound levels as low as 168 and 154 dB, respectively.  Alarm behavior was exhibited during the behavioral experiment at sounds exposure levels over the range of 178-207 dB.

Aguilar de Soto, Natacha. 2015

Physiological Impacts of Noise

The studies described in this review are just the tip of the iceberg in terms of what we need to know; further, while they show some important trends that are useful for making management decisions, there are also some conflicting patterns (e.g. strong behavioural responses indicating stress at very low received sound levels versus no behavioural signs of large physiological damage; high inter and intra-species variability in the vulnerability to physiological effects versus inter-taxa commonality in mechanisms of noise induced damage). This complexity in quantifying dose-effect mechanisms of noise damage challenges our understanding and thus the management of the impact of acoustic pollution.